Monthly Archives: December 2011

Doctor: “George Michael is Doing Well.”

A doctor treating George Michael says the British pop star is “doing well” as he recovers from pneumonia, but cannot say if he will be able to spend Christmas at home. Christoph Zielinski said “we know that he is doing well and we are generally optimistic” about his recovery.

Zielinski told state broadcaster ORF Tuesday that whether Michael can go home for Christmas “is something that we are not in the position to decide.” He said “that is something that must be decided in consultation with the patient.”

The ex-front man for the pop group “Wham” was admitted to Vienna’s AKH hospital late last month after canceling a performance in the Austrian capital.


Paul McCartney Releasing an Album of Standards

Sir Paul McCartney is releasing an album of standards, plus two new songs of his own. The former Beatle announced Monday that his new disc will be out on Feb. 7.

It doesn’t have a title yet. He’s already streaming one song, “My Valentine,” on his website. McCartney says he and John Lennon were inspired in their own writing by some of the standards. Some of them he first heard when his father performed them at home on piano.

Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder make appearances on the disc, which was recorded with Diana Krall and her band. McCartney says he’s been thinking about the project for 20 years and, at age 69, figured, “If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it.”


Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood Engaged

Lady Antebellum’s remaining unattached member, Dave Haywood, is now off the market. broke the news that Haywood got engaged to his girlfriend country music industry executive Kelli Cashiola on the night of December 19, 2011. The couple has been friends for five years, but only recently revealed that they were dating.

According to People, Haywood, 29, surprised Cashiola, also 29, by staging an elaborate proposal Monday night. After picking her up from work, Haywood reportedly talked her into putting on a blindfold as they drive onto her street. “Once inside her home,” People reports, “Cashiola was delighted to discover that while she was at work, Haywood had transformed every room into a sparkling winter wonderland. But it was outside that the reason for the blindfold was revealed – a string of Christmas lights spelled out ‘Will you marry me?’ on the front of the house. As Haywood put the ring on her finger, Cashiola replied, ‘Yes!’”


No date has been set for the wedding. Bandmate Hillary Scott is expected to marry her fiancé, drummer Chris Tyrrell, in the spring. Third bandmate Charles Kelley is married to publicist Cassie McConnell Kelley.


Cashiola is the vice president of marketing and brand management at Warner Music Nashville, where she has worked since 2004 when she graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Lady Antebellum is signed to another record label, Capitol Records Nashville.


Mike Myers in Talks for ‘Austin Powers’ Musical

Mike Myers’ movie franchise “Austin Powers” could be getting a musical makeover, according to New York Post’s gossip column Page Six.

Myers first debuted the outlandish character in 1997’s “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” and went on to release two sequels. He’s currently working on a fourth installment, and, according to Page Six, he’s considering creating a stage adaptation of the film for Broadway.

A source tells the publication, “Mike is in talks to turn ‘Austin Powers’ into a musical stage show. Mike would be heavily involved in writing the show, but he will not star in it, even though he has quite a good singing voice.”




Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewellery Sells for $115 Million

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection fetched a record-setting $115 million — including more than $11.8 million for a pearl necklace and more than $8.8 million for a diamond ring given to her by Richard Burton — at an auction of gems and other memorabilia amassed by the late actress. The 33.19-carat diamond ring given to Taylor by the actor she married twice, sold for $8,818,500.

The pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, known as La Peregrina, purchased at auction for $37,000 in 1969 by Burton for Taylor reached the world record price of $11,842,500. It was estimated to sell for $2 million to $3 million. The price surpassed the previous auction record for a pearl, set in 2007 at Christie’s auction house in New York City with the sale of The Baroda Pearls for $7,096,000.

The ring, estimated to sell for $2.5 million to $3.5 million, was included in a collection of Taylor’s necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings and other gems that went on sale Tuesday night at Christie’s in New York. The ring was purchased by a private buyer from Asia, according to a Christie’s spokesman.

Among the other high-profile items was a diamond bracelet given to the “National Velvet” and “Cleopatra” actress by singer Michael Jackson, with an estimated sale price of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $194,500. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Taylor, a screen goddess who also starred in classics such as “Giant,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” died in Los Angeles in March at age 79. A jewellery lover, she had pieces from some of the most famous names in the jewellery world, including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chopard, in her collection.

Other sales of Taylor’s art, clothing and memorabilia will be held later in the week. An online-only sale of some items runs until Saturday. Part of the proceeds will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to help people living with AIDS.

Taylor’s collection of impressionist and modern art is scheduled to go on sale at Christie’s in London in February.


Adele Makes Chart History in ‘Year of the Woman’

Adele made music history, topping three charts, as Billboard released its numbers for what it’s calling the “year of the woman.”

The soul songstress became the first woman to top the Billboard 200 albums chart (for “21”), the Hot 100 song chart (for “Rolling in the Deep”) and the Top Artists chart in the same year. The only other artists or musical acts to claim all three were Usher (2004), 50 Cent (2003), George Michael (1988) and the group Ace of Base (1994). “21” spent 13 consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200 in 2011 — more weeks in one year than any other album since the “Titanic” soundtrack in 1998.

Adele’s fellow female singers also made history this year, as, for the first time, the four Top Artists were women, with Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga following Adele.